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April 5, 2007


Mary K. Biagini, associate professor and the associate dean for student affairs at the School of Information Sciences (SIS), will be honored by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) as the 2007 Outstanding Contributor.

The award recognizes her contributions to the field of Pennsylvania school library media programs. Biagini, lead educator in the school library certification program at SIS, will be presented the award at the PSLA conference banquet on April 12.

PSLA provides school librarians and media specialists with educational opportunities and current information through publications, workshops, seminars and conferences.

The Outstanding Contributor Award is an annual recognition of those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to school library information programs or for statewide or collective contributions that have had an impact on all school library information programs in Pennsylvania.

Biagini was nominated for the award in recognition of her work at the local, regional and national levels to promote the education of school library media specialists. Her nomination specifically notes that Biagini “truly cares for her students and mentors each to make a difference as future and present school library media specialists.” Her innovative teaching methods, course and curriculum design efforts and more than 20 years of promoting the field and PSLA also were touted.

In addition, Biagini was acknowledged for her work as a member of the PSLA professional standards committee and as a co-chair of the American Association of School Librarians’ national conferences in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh over the last several years.

In addition to her administrative duties at SIS, Biagini teaches courses on resources for young adults, multicultural resources and services, and school library media center management.


Stuart Shulman, associate professor in the School of Information Sciences (SIS), has been appointed as director of Pitt’s Sara Fine Institute (SFI).

SFI was founded in honor of Sara Fine, a faculty member at SIS for more than 23 years, who conducted groundbreaking research on the impact of technology on interpersonal behavior. The mission of the institute is to examine the ways in which technology may affect personal interactions, communications and relationships with individuals and institutions. SFI utilizes campus-community partnerships to undertake research on the social, political, ethical and educational issues surrounding information technology and interpersonal relations.

Shulman holds a joint appointment in Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He also is a senior research associate at Pitt’s University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) and at the Université de Genève, the European University Institute and Oxford Internet Institute-based E-Democracy Centre.

Shulman teaches graduate-level courses in digital citizenship, digital governance and research methods in information systems and technology.

He is the founder and director of UCSUR’s qualitative data analysis program, which is a fee-for-service coding lab working on projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health, and other U.S. funding agencies. He has been the leader of several NSF-funded research projects focusing on electronic rulemaking, human language technologies, manual annotation, digital citizenship and service-learning efforts in the United States.

Shulman was the organizer and chair for federal agency-level electronic rulemaking workshops funded by the NSF from 2001 through 2004. In November 2006, he chaired an NSF-funded workshop at Pitt titled “Coding Across the Disciplines,” which brought social and computer scientists together to discuss annotation science in support of IT-enhanced research.

For three years, Shulman served on the program committee for the NSF’s National Conference on Digital Government Research.

In 2006, Shulman was named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, a forum for policymakers, practitioners and technology industry leaders in addition to academicians and researchers. The primary objective of the journal is to promote a better understanding of how evolving information technologies interact with political and governmental processes and outcomes at many levels.

At SFI, Shulman will be bringing together research partners and teaching faculty from across Pitt to address pilot projects on topics, such as human information processing and interpersonal relations, in a range of contexts from schools and community centers to institutions of higher education and governments.


Jan Hendrik Beumer, assistant research professor the School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was named one of last year’s top referees of the Journal of Chromatography B by the journal’s editors.

He was selected for this honor because of the substantial number of manuscripts he reviewed and the high quality of the reports he provided. The Journal of Chromatography B is one of the premier publications in the field of analysis of drugs and their metabolites in biological samples.


Scott Mark, assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, has been selected as a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, an honor bestowed on fewer than 10 percent of ACHE members. He received the recognition at the annual Congress on Healthcare Management last month.

Mark also was chosen to chair the publications advisory group for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ pharmacy practice managers section. The advisory group is responsible for coordinating and developing manuscripts for publication in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy on topics important to the management section.


Sue Skledar, associate professor in pharmacy and therapeutics, and Joanne Kowiatek, an adjunct faculty member in the department, were members of a multidisciplinary health care team that will receive the American Association of Critical Care Nurses 2007 Nursing Circle of Excellence Award for Patient Safety for their project titled “Balancing Safety and Variation in Practice: Standardizing Continuous Infusions.”

The award will be presented at the National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition this May.


Two industrial engineering faculty members have won awards from the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE).

Lisa M. Maillart, assistant professor, won the IIE Transactions on Quality and Reliability Engineering Best Paper Award.

Maillart’s primary research interest is in decision making under uncertainty. Her research typically involves applications of Markov decision processes and stochastic processes to problems in maintenance optimization, medical decision making, sports and entrepreneurship.

Andrew J. Schaefer, associate professor and Wellington C. Carl faculty fellow in the Department of Industrial Engineering, won the Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer of the Year from IIE.

Schaefer’s primary research interests include applied and theoretical operations research. He is active in stochastic programming, integer programming, combinatorial optimization, airline crew scheduling, logistics, medical applications of OR, and supply chain design.

He has taught courses in simulation, linear programming and logistics.

Schaefer holds secondary appointments in the departments of medicine and bioengineering.


The Pitt-Johnstown advisory board presented its 10th Service-to-Community Award to Andrea Sadvari, UPJ Humanities Division secretary, at the board’s spring meeting March 13.

This award was established to recognize students, faculty and staff who have contributed actively to the quality of life in the region.

The public affairs committee members of the advisory board evaluated nominees based on established criteria, including volunteerism and service that has significant impact or enduring effect.

Sadvari received a chairman’s prize of $250.

Sadvari is involved with a number of groups, such as the Salvation Army’s Project Bundle-Up, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and Johnstown PFLAG, an organization dedicated to the ideals of tolerance and diversity that are espoused at UPJ.


Emil M. Spadafore Jr. of Meadville recently was elected chair of the Pitt-Titusville advisory board.

Spadafore, who assumed his new responsibilities in January, previously served as vice chair of the board. The UPT advisory board is composed of local and regional representatives who serve as advocates for the institution and as advisers to the campus president.

Spadafore earned his Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Pitt in 1971 and his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University in 1976.

He has been a partner in the law firm of Thomas, Spadafore, Walker and Keenan in Meadville since 1989.

For the past six years, Spadafore has served as an adjunct faculty member at UPT, teaching courses in business law, “Introduction to Criminal Justice,” “Critical Issues in Criminal Justice,” “Introduction to Criminology,” “Courts and the Law,” “Society and the Law” and “Law and Politics.”

In addition, he has taught courses for Mercyhurst College Northeast at the Municipal Police Officers Training Academy. Spadafore also has taught at Penn State-Behrend and the American Institute of Banking.


Sue Anne Bloom has been named director of financial aid in the Office of Enrollment Management at the Titusville campus.

Bloom joined UPT in 1999 as secretary for the physical therapy assistant program. Prior to coming to UPT, she worked as a transcriptionist in imaging services at UPMC Northwest in Seneca and as an outpatient coder in medical records and billing, and as a transcriptionist in imaging at the Titusville Area Hospital.

Bloom has earned three degrees from UPT in the last three years: Associate of Science in business, Associate of Arts in liberal arts and Bachelor of Science in business management.

In addition, Bloom holds certificates as a certified coding specialist and notary public, and in personal computing skills and nonprofit management.

She completed course work in professional grant writing, which will benefit UPT in identifying and securing additional funds for students. Bloom plans to begin an MBA program this fall.

Since 1999, Bloom has served on the UPT graduation committee and Staff Association Council and, in 2003-20004, on the enrollment management committee.


Elizabeth “Beth” Tiedemann, director of career services at Pitt-Greensburg, was named winner of the 2007 President’s Award for Staff Excellence.

The award is designed to recognize regular staff who have demonstrated excellence in the workplace and a consistent pattern of extraordinary dedication to the University above and beyond a candidate’s job responsibilities. The recognition carries a monetary award of $750.

Due to inaccurate information provided by Greensburg campus officials, the March 22 University Times reported that Sandy Buehner, office services specialist at the Millstein Library, had won the president’s award. Instead, Buehner won an award for earning the most “You Make a Difference” citations, which are given to staff by staff during the course of the year for jobs well done.


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